The average cost of having a baby and providing for its first 12 months comes to just under €15,000, recent research from AA Ireland has found.
The research undertaken by AA Life, a life insurance and mortgage protection provider
, found that between maternity healthcare, baby-proofing and essentials such as car seats parents can expect to pay an average of €14,532.12 before their baby’s first birthday. According to the survey parents who opt to return to work at the end of their paid maternity leave entitlement can expect to spend on average €5,012 on childcare.
New Parents Face Bills of Up To 15k in Baby's First Year
The costs for parents begin to mount long before the baby is born, as parents who opt for private maternity healthcare could face hospital bills of anywhere between €3,000 and €5,000. However, between tax relief and health insurance cover the research estimates that parents opting for private healthcare will pay an average of €2,908 more than those who opt for the public service.
“To anyone who already has children it won’t come as much of a surprise that the decision to have a family brings with it significant costs, but for first-time parents it can serve as a real shock when the expenses start to mount up. While many of the costly items, such as monitors, car seats and prams can be re-used with any subsequent children to keep future costs down, the first child will bring with it a lot of unexpected bills,”
Arwen Foley, AA Life Spokesperson stated. “With a young child of my own and another on the way I’m well aware of how quickly the bills for maternity wear, baby-clothes, nappies and everything in between can add up. While there is a temptation or almost a pressure on new parents to purchase the most expensive baby monitors or prams, it can be worth shopping around or checking in with family or friends who have already raised a family to see what cheaper alternatives exist.”
Meanwhile, the average family can expect to pay just over €150 to babyproof their home if they opt to carry out the work themselves. In addition, the cost of preparing a room for the newborn will come to just over €700 for the average family with bedding and baby monitors making up the majority of that figure at an average cost of €174.93 and €148.32 respectively.
“For many parents the birth of their first child serves as a reminder of the importance of life insurance and protecting their child’s long-term future and their family’s standard or living. With the additional financial strains that a new baby will bring with it, it can be tempting to put of getting your life insurance in order, but this isn’t in the best interests of you or your child,”
Arwen added. “While people may imagine life insurance being expensive, if you’re healthy and take out cover while you’re still young it can be very affordable and straightforward to arrange, and it might just provide some peace of mind.”
“While having a new baby certainly brings with it some unanticipated costs, there are some things you can do to help protect your wallet and still provide for your family such as opting for less expensive brands on items such as baby monitors or prams. However, the birth of your first child can also be a good time to revisit some bills, such as your mortgage protection,” Arwen added. “Most people opt to take out their mortgage protection with their bank when finalising their mortgage but this can, over the lifetime of a mortgage, prove to be far more expensive so it can be worth shopping around. Alternative providers might just offset some of the costs of your newborn.”
Among the most expensive items for new parents to purchase according to the AA Life report are prams at an average cost of €657.99 and baby bouncers at an average of €228.33. Meanwhile, the study estimates that the average family of a newborn can expect to spend €515 on nappies in the first 12 months.
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